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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly creates the feel of the time
I'll admit from the beginning that, despite this being the 13th Kydd novel, it is only the second that I've read, though I now realise that they are actually quite readable as standalone novels if the reader wishes.

I've recently been heavily devoted to reading ancient through medieval fiction, but I opened 'Betrayal' with enthusiasm. It has been a long time...
Published 22 months ago by SJATurney

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars enough of a good thing
starting to lose the plot. Did not find this as gripping as the previous books and the ending was atrocious
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly creates the feel of the time, 11 Oct 2012
This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
I'll admit from the beginning that, despite this being the 13th Kydd novel, it is only the second that I've read, though I now realise that they are actually quite readable as standalone novels if the reader wishes.

I've recently been heavily devoted to reading ancient through medieval fiction, but I opened 'Betrayal' with enthusiasm. It has been a long time since I read Napoleonic era novels, but I was, to some extent, weaned on Forrester, Dudley Pope, and Alexander Kent. Having now read two of the Kydd novels I have confirmed for myself that Stockwin's protagonist is easily the match for Bolitho, Hornblower or Ramage.

I won't go too much into the specific plot of the book, as usual, to avoid spoilers, but the action begins in Africa, around Cape Town and with a magnificent opening chapter that evokes all the mystery and dangers of darkest Africa, the dangers of the French enemy, and the ingenuity and sheer daring of Kydd and his men. It also nicely introduces (or reintroduces) the main characters for those of us who have had time out from the series. Looking at a long period of excruciating boredom (and more importantly reduced chance of glory or advancement) patrolling the secure cape, Kydd's commander, Popham, sets off on an unauthorized, outrageous and downright dangerous plan to try and subvert Spanish control of South America. Kydd, somewhat reluctantly agrees to join and is dragged into a little known action in history of which I had never even previously heard (thanks, Mr Stockwin, as I learned something new and particulary fascinating here.)

The action picks up very quickly and then sails along (pun intended) throughout the book. Checking the dust jacket I read of Stockwin's history in the navy and realised whence one of the two things that impressed me most came. The author's clearly first-hand and near-encyclopedic knowledge of all things ships and sailing combined with his obvious love of the period show through at every moment in the book without fail, bringing a depth of detail that adds to the read rather than stalling it. The other thing that impressed me most, even above the level of research that clearly went in, was the authentic feel just to the social aspect of the story. The speech is at once familiar and easy to read, and yet seems true to period and deeply atmospheric. The interaction between characters, particularly those of different classes or nationalities is wonderful.

But as in many good long-running series, one other thing worth mentioning is the clear growth of the characters and the ties that bind them together. As I said, I've only read one other Kydd novel before, and that was around six books ago. The result is that I could easily see how much Kydd has grown and changed over the books, while retainging those parts that make him the character people loved from the start. In addition the bond between he and Renzi is a joy to read.

In all, this was an excellent read as a standalone, so I can imagine that series devotees will love it. Stockwin stands up there with the best of Napoleonic and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

Well done, Julian. Now I must go back and fill in the blanks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, 10 Oct 2012
This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
The year is 1806 and Captain Kydd was just helped capture and defend the Dutch colony of Cape Town (chronicled in Conquest). With the French driven from the seas, the only thing Kydd can look forward to is protecting trade and being forgotten by the Admiralty on a far flung corner of Empire.

Kydd's commanding officer, Admiral Popham has other ideas though. With the forces used to capture Cape Town at his disposal, he proposes an assault on the undefended Spanish possessions in South America. Winning over Kydd to his side, Popham believes that all the English have to do is land on the mainland, capture Buenos Aires and the locals will rise up and throw off the yoke of Spanish rule but can a few hundred British soldiers and sailors really capture the greatest prize of Empire?

As the fleet sets sail, Kydd struggles with the decision to abandon his station and follow a man whose motives seems to become more suspect and actions become more underhand the closer they get to their destination.
As the British task force lands on the Spanish Mainland they must deal with the local Spanish troops as well as belligerent locals but the prize is so great that nothing will stop them in their quest.

With no British warships able to navigate the River Plate, Kydd is tasked with with defending the British force with whatever crafts and men he can muster and as the enemy draw closer, Kydd finds himself increasingly under pressure to hold them back. Kydd knows that if they can't not hold on until reinforcements arrive then they could lose everything they have gained and from being Heroes of Empire they could end up facing a court martial for disobeying orders. Such are the fine margins of high command.
I have been a fan of Julian Stockwin's books since `Kydd' was released in 2001 but as with any long running series I have found myself struggling to enjoy the last couple of books. In a similar vein to the Sharpe novels you sort of feel that you have read the book before and feel a bit stale. Well I'm happy to report that Betrayal is a real return to form.

This is a cracking story and I think using a little known episode of the Napoleonic wars gives it freshness that has been missing from the last couple of books. One of the joys of the whole series has been seeing Kydd grow from a pressed landman into a full post-Captain and learning the ropes of command as he goes along. In Betrayal he really comes into his own as he commands the ad-hoc naval forces and is tasked with opening up Buenos Aires to trade.

Stockwin captures the dilemmas of men in high command in the age of the sail, months away from political and military chiefs they must make decisions on the spur of the moment that could bring greater glory to the Empire or just as easily see them disgraced and dismissed from service.

I raced though this book and as always Stockwin's writing style is easy to read and has a nice pace to the story and in all Stockwin's books the naval details are spot on without being over technical thus slowing the story down. This is a very good book and I highly recommend!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal - Julian Stockwin, 11 Oct 2012
By 
C. Caroe (Chester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
13 may be unlucky for some, but Julian Stockwin's latest novel in the Kydd series, Betrayal, excels in the faction genre and places him without doubt in the top league of writers whose stories are based, both on the sea and land, during the Napoleonic Wars.

He cleverly weaves Kydd into the real stories and action of the day and the auspicious attempt to take Buenos Aries. Stockwin's in-depth research on this relatively unknown action has allowed him to place Kydd and Renzi into the heart of the story and he cleverly linked Commodore Popham, with whom Kydd had dealings with in Invasion, the commander of the sea force, with Kydd and his beloved frigate HMS L'Auore.

The operation described in such gripping detail in the book is one of the great "What ifs" of the empire building Britain undertook in the early 1800's. If London had be more supportive, the logistics had been better thought through, the bayonets on the ground greater in number then the northern part of modern Argentina and the southern part of Uruguay could well have been coloured pink the Victorian Atlases.

Poor intelligence at the most critical stage allowed the Spanish to turn around what had be a major embarrassment into a complete victory and as Julian explains not just the once but twice!

The Commanders of the operation where Popham for the Navy and Beresford for the Army, both competent commanders in their own right. I will let Kydd's actions in the book tell the story, but Kydd as usual with the support of his colleagues, both officers and seamen, redeem themselves and uphold that old adage "Honour", their actions playing a decisive role in the overall operation.

A great true story, well researched and written, which brings our two great friends to the brink of a major bust up over differing beliefs. However, their deep friendship prevails and Kydd is snatched from the jaws of incarceration and despair. A great read and I would highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars enough of a good thing, 5 Mar 2013
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starting to lose the plot. Did not find this as gripping as the previous books and the ending was atrocious
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BETRAYED, 21 Feb 2013
By 
G. Crook "Waterloo tragic" (Sydney Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
Sorry Mr Stockwin.I read 'Betrayal' and would advise Kydd to saet sail for the open seas away fron South America as quickly as possible if this drawn out 'adventure' is the best that results.
I am re-reading O'brian just to make sure I am not being unjust.Seth Hunter and Russel Thomas and Donarchie are much more exciting and worthwhile reads.
The subject matter of 'Betrayal is interesting,but no substitute for action and interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pedestrian, constant dialogue., 8 Nov 2012
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Very disappointing. Not in the same class as his previous books. Over-descriptive & I'm afraid that I found myself skimming the last 50%.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW TRIUMPH, 17 Oct 2012
This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
Julian Stockwin's latest Kydd Sea Adventure, BETRAYAL, has been favorably compared with C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels (Publisher's Weekly), a fitting position in the naval fiction genre, to be sure. But, like Forester, Alexander Kent, David Donachie and Patrick O'Brian, Stockwin has carved his own unique place in nautical literature over the past twelve years. Contemporary readers around the world enjoy going down to the sea in ships with this talented author, waiting eagerly for each succeeding novel in the Kydd series. BETRAYAL is the thirteenth and the finest in the Kydd saga to date. Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi find themselves in grave danger along the South American coast with Commodore Sir Home Popham. Stockwin writes fiction wrapped in meticulously detailed and authentic British naval history and seamanship, which once again puts readers smack on the quarterdeck, as salt air and powder smoke drift off the pages. This is a book not to be missed by anyone who seeks action at sea during the Age of Sail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really good naval series written with good taste and fine detail, 4 May 2014
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Christopher J. Eley "Chris Eley" (Chichester Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Hardcover)
I became hooked on this author from the very first hard back outing in this series and I still am collecting every one,despite the regrettable price increases on most hardbacks thses days, and insufficent discounting on some works. This is an excellent story and is on a par with every one published to date-this is a consistently fine author and the absence of unneccessary foul languge is a blessing. I have always found the use of the period vocabulary spoken by Kydd to be a little irritating but the overall excellence in terms of storyline, drawing of characters and the sailing and fightiong detail over rules any misgivings. This book and the others in the series are simply spendid. Julian Stockwin may well be the successor to Alexander Kent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well up to Julian Stockwin's standard, 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Paperback)
Very well written action sequences but requires a suspension of belief that a junior captain would have been given such responsibility. I would have liked a bit more information on the historical background and reference to the overall military situation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal.....A good title when judging its content and entertainment value., 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) (Paperback)
This book started well but seem to lose its direction and I did not enjoy it so much as Conquest....however I will always be a Stockwin fan and look forward to his next publication....
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Betrayal (Thomas Kydd)
Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) by Julian Stockwin (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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